Joinery

Seamless joinery is one of the hallmarks of a true craftsman. Learn how to do it with these articles from Popular Woodworking Magazine and blog posts from our editors about all things relating to wood joinery, whether you work with hand tools, power tools or both. If you’re looking for expert technique instruction, have questions about the right joint (and the right tools) for the job, want to read about various woodworking joints or need plans and step-by-step instruction for a jig to help you cut your joints safely and accurately, you’ve come to the right place.

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Free Wood Joinery Guides

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Cut Accurate and Clean Rabbets

By Christopher Schwarz From the Spring 2004 issue of Woodworking Magazine, pages 8-11 When I was taught to cut rabbets in my first woodworking class, we made them with two cuts on the table saw. You’ve probably seen this technique in books and magazines before. For the first cut, the work is flat on...

Better Dado Casework

Better Dados for Casework

We wanted perfect dados: precise in size and location. All it took was a router and a simple T-square jig. By Robert Lang From the Spring 2005 issue of Woodworking Magazine, pages 25-27 Dados are a “bread and butter” kind of joint. They’re simple and strong, and a router with a straight bit and...

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Joinery Changes to Consider for Your Tool Chest

I’ve hauled my tool chest all over the United States and Canada, and I remain impressed – deeply impressed – by how it has handled all the miles. I’ve even dropped it from a height of 36” – fully loaded – onto concrete. One corner of the chest’s dust seal splintered a bit, but...

Knife a line directly oft the tail

Installing a Drawer Stretcher

I’ve been working on a cherry and bird’s-eye maple entry table for the October 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, and as I was installing the upper drawer stretcher I remembered how puzzled I was when faced with cutting my first one. It’s just a single dovetail cut on the end of the stretcher...

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Best Wood Glue Surface, Smooth or Rough?

From time to time I hear someone comment about a woodworking practice that runs totally contrary to what I’ve been taught. One of these is what kind of wood surface yields the strongest joint when using wood glues, typically white or yellow glue, but also hide glue. This came up a few weeks ago....

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Slideshow: Cutting Keyed Miter Joints

Slideshow: Keyed Miter Joints   I like the decorative effect that keyed miter joints lend to an otherwise simple box. But they also add a great deal of strength to a notoriously weak joint. Here’s a quick slideshow on cutting and installing keys in miter joints using a very simple jig featured in the...

Slideshow: A Better Way to Glue Up Boxes

I’ve written before about my love of stringed packing tape – it deepens and matures every day. Here’s a short slideshow I put together on one of its best uses: gluing up small boxes. Using clamps to glue up any small box is tricky and almost always frustrating. The clamps are too large for...

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Roorkhee Chair: First Look

I like Morris chairs  – Lord knows I’ve built enough of them to change my middle name to “Morrie.” But this evening I finished up work on a chair that is lighter in weight (less than 10 lbs.), just as masculine (leather!) and is (gasp) even more comfortable. It’s called a Roorkhee Chair, and...

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Chair Joinery: Tapered Tenons & Tapered Mortises

Because chairs take abuse like a rented mule, the simple mortise-and-tenon joint is sometimes not enough. In traditional Windsor chair construction, the legs and spindles are attached to the plank seat using tenons that are cone-shaped along their lengths. So the mortises have to be the same shape. These tapered joints are clever. The...